Important basics when cold calling:
Of yourself, environment, product/service knowledge, and your company.
Getting attention, key connection phrases explaining your purpose. Try explaining what your product or service has achieved elsewhere.
Use thought provoking questions to facilitate understanding and enable a dialogue - try not to sell or push just yet.
Be objective in your call. You do not have the answers all the time. Nor does your product or service.
Listen and interpret:
Do not jump to conclusions. Try to clarify any areas that are unclear.
Inform and recap:
Work with the client/prospect to review needs.
Clearly Identify Needs: If needs are Identified, underline them and then underline how you can address the needs.
Keep notes & CRM updates: Stay current and on top of you client list. The cold call will not be so cold the next time you call this prospect/client.
In very slow commuter traffic recently I was driving behind a car recently I was admiring the waft if smoke on a cool calm morning drifting from the window of a relatively new car in front. The driver of the car, like me was obviously contemplating the day ahead, her car was a wonderful bright silver, shining, possibly reflecting her persona. Butt in a moment of disgusting selfishness she dropped the cigarette out of the window - Christ. Did she have to, could she not extinguish it in her car. Did she have to dump rubbish on our streets where kids were passing by on the way to school. Streets where there were efforts by the street cleaners to tidy the place up and efforts by the local community to make the entrances to the littles cul de sacs that populate our suburbs. Where I can see. I'm sorry to say I had not the gumption or appetite to beep, wave or get out and ask the person to pick up their rubbish. Am I gone soft. Am I becoming cynical at 50? Am I the "coping class" the "silent majority". If I were to have a discussion with my fellow citizen that same person that suffers the commute would they apologise and pick up the butt? Or would they be offended and tell me to F off and mind my Kuwait business. Or worse?
I drove on tutting, that person put a little cloud on my day.
So, I'm listening to music on my stereo and thoughts are running through my head about the whole recession thing that the Radio insists is now over, "we're not safe yet, but we might be". Some good thoughts and some still annoying me. Such as; am I alone in my distaste for our public servants that take unfair advantage in such way that makes you think that if they didn't stretch the system that they'll be punished? Fair usage comes to mind. I wonder if there should be a fair usage meter reading in the public servants wage packets (same for Doctors, Nurses, Teachers and so on). Take for example a public servant teacher: She gets pregnant and returns to work for a few days before the summer holidays - just so she can take maximum advantage - it's well know to be regularly done and widely discussed in PTA meetings. But where's the fairness?
Is it too much to ask that after all the suffering and all the sacrifices that some of our fellow citizen obscenities would been put to rest. Is it too much to ask that the injustices and the in your face swindling that was rife in the boom times would have been stopped. Or in the case of our beleaguered politicians can they not do what is right rather than what is politically required.
Leadership is not just for the Taoiseach or the CEO. Leadership is the responsibility of all citizens Doctors, Nurses, Teachers and so on.
One: Remain focused
Focus and purpose are essential in successful of business management. It can be hard to stay objective when closely tied to your business, because assumptions, habits and bias all get in the way of constructive decision-making.
These are great times to be thinking differently and looking for new ways to maximise company performance and to add value to your relationship with clients.
Three: Embrace Change
There is a competitive advantage in being able to adapt to change. Many SMEs are now looking to utilise technology as a means of workflow management, empowering customers and adding value to a relationship. Make sure you keep rebuilding your company and use all the new technology tools that make sense for your company.
Four: Up-skill your team
Seek to up-skill you talent so that they can bring more value to you and your clients. Select a development programme that offers clear links to ROI and provides a bespoke approach for your organisation.
Five. Be clear about what value you bring to clients
What makes customers buy from you? Are you unique? Would you survive if there was a carbon copy company out there? Make sure you keep the value proposition in the forefront.
Long-range business goals will be the cornerstone of your company's MBO program. To achieve these goals, you must have a method to communicate them to your managers and employees. One way is to bring managers and employees into the process by asking them to help formulate the company's short- and long-range goals. If they have a role in establishing the goals, they will be more committed to achieving them. All goals should relate to and support the long-range objectives for the company. In this way, you can ensure that the goals of all levels of management are consistent. If goals are incompatible, you may find that employees feel like the middle manager of a research and development company who exclaimed in a seminar, How can I set my goals when I don't know where top management wants to go?
Types of Goals
What areas of your managers' work are suitable for goal setting? Ask managers to identify the most important aspects of their work. In each area, they should set both short- and long-term goals. Carefully developed goals, if attained, should give the manager better control of the job. Each manager should define one or two goals in each of the following categories:
Regular work goals,
By asking your managers to set at least one goal in each of these four areas, you may open their eyes to new possibilities they had not seen before. The goal-setting process can be a very useful educational step.
The success of a business will depend on its long-range goals for sales, profits, competitive position, development of personnel. To accomplish these goals, the company will need to identify intermediate goals that it can work toward each year.
The planning and controlling functions of management (Planning, Organising, Directing, Controlling, and Coordinating) often receive less attention from the small business owner manager than they should. In my experience a way to more effectively fulfill these two functions of controlling and planning is through effective goal setting.
Traditionally, people have worked according to descriptions that list the activities or functions of the job. The management by objectives (MBO) approach, on the other hand, stresses results. For example, a credit manager's job description states that he or she will supervise the credit operations of the company. This description simply lists the functions of the credit manager. Under the MBO approach, the owner-manager and the credit manager would identify five or six goals covering important aspects of the manager's work (some would call them Key Performance Indicators - KPIs). For example, one goal might be to increase credit sales enough to support the 15 percent increase in sales expected by the sales department. With MBO, jobs are viewed in terms of achievements rather than simply functions. Activity alone is not enough; each activity must bring the worker closer to achieving his or her goals.
However management by objectives has certain minimum requirements: Goals must be expressed in specific and measurable terms (SMART) and each employee proposes 5 to 10 goals to cover those aspects of his or her job important to successful performance. A final written statement of each goal is prepared, including a statement of the goal, method of evaluating the goal, work steps needed to complete the goal and an estimated time needed to complete the steps. Progress must be evaluated at regular intervals (at least quarterly) and compared with the original goals, while problems that hinder progress are identified and corrected. Goals are related to each level of management, both those above and those below.
Defining Your Business
The first step in developing an effective MBO program is to define your business. Ask yourself the following questions:
What business am I in?
Is my definition right for today's market?
Do I need to change my business to meet emerging customer needs?
A clear vision of your business is crucial for planning your marketing, product development, buildings and equipment, and financial and staff needs. For example, a drop in sales caused a small business manufacturer of metal trash cans to re-examine its product. To regain lost sales, the owner decided to redefine the product as metal "containers" and to develop a new marketing plan.
Setting Goals will be discussed in part 2...
Emotional labour is the control of a person’s behaviour to display appropriate emotions (Chu, 2002). This means that a person displays or suppresses certain emotions so as to conform to social norms and situations. The concept of emotional labour is not confined to the workplace; it invades every aspect of life. I recently read an interesting article by Dr Sandi Mann in Professional Manager Magazine. Dr Mann wrote about the effects on the individual who has to put on an act at work day in day out. Interestingly he did not advocate confronting the emotions or revealing them to colleagues and customers. He called for 'deeper acting' greater levels of empathy and the use of emotional memory when trying to act. I have to say I can't get my head round this. I can't see myself coaching managers and business owners to 'act deeper'.
In my daily life I try to empathise and engage with customers and colleagues. But I have tried of late (age has something to do with it) to be straight and frank with individuals. I do engage and empathise - but draw the line there. If I'm frustrated, I tell the person. If I'm annoyed with their actions, I tell the person, and if I my job was to depend on me faking a reaction I would try to give that job a miss or seek help to make appropriate changes.
Easier said than done I know. But I do feel that most would agree that faking it to the detriment of one’s well being is not acceptable.
I bet you get this concept. I get this concept. My 12 year old gets this concept. But it seems to me that a fair number in unions are immune to this logic. Let me explain it for them based on a bus company (but you and I know that it also applies to our economy ;-)
The spiral-down effect occurs when incorrect assumptions about consumer behaviour cause ticket sales (due to bad pricing), protection levels, and thereby revenues to systematically decrease over time. If a bus company decides to put up its prices to counteract falling sales, it subsequently yields lower sales and revenue. The pattern continues, resulting in a so-called spiral down.
Likewise, in our economy, past a tipping point, the more tax you apply to businesses and wealth creating individuals, note I use the term wealth creating (those who make something or earn foreign currency), the less the Government is likely to collect. Such is spiral-down.
Some seem to be aiming for a war path. If they do they will only serve to increase the spiral-down effect in our economy and kill a recovery. Hopefully someone somewhere will see some sense and call it like it is. As a 'small open economy' we cannot afford to have widespread industrial unrest - even if it would save money by not having to pay the strikers wages.
1: Be familiar with the phases of Teamwork. Tuckman’s forming, storming, norming and performing model.
2:.If you want good leaders to lead team give them the tools to do it. Train and manage the process of leadership building.
3: If you want followers (team members) train them to work together – manage the process and monitor progress.
4: Support the process from the very top but be prepared to be lonely. Leading is often a lonely role – the buck stops with you.
5: Give each leader and each team an identity to hold onto. A reason to be proud of membership and an acknowledgement of achievement.
6: Foster the identity to increase group/team cohesion. Leading and following is not always doom and gloom. Make business fun – work hard play hard.
7: Establish The Norms You Want. It is imperative to agree on the core norms setting ground rules to prevent problems later on.
8: Clearly define roles and responsibilities in order to establish boundaries and set expectations governing relationships.
9: Establish key group/team processes. Meetings, decisions, brainstorming, timekeeping and problem solving.
10: Everyone’s time is valuable. If you don’t expect your team to waste your time – don’t waste theirs. Give power to the team on the ground – trust in their judgement. They are the ones delivering the goods.
11: Truly great leaders have mastered courtesy along with being bold, courageous, dynamic and visionary.
12: Communicate, communicate, communicate. But above all get to the point! Make sure you get the message out to your audience – don’t waffle. Do not leave people wondering what all the slides were about when there was only one point to be made. Leaders have a knack of cutting through the BS, simplifying the solution so that everybody can embrace it.
13: Don’t be afraid to give bad news. Every company has bad news – it makes the good news look better too.
14: If you want your team to be engaged, committed and a good followers say thank you! You expect team members to be cohesive and achieve great things; when they do, thank them. As General Colin Powell (US Army retired) once said “Organization doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”
15: Integrity counts. Neither your customer nor your team is wedded to you so they need to believe and trust in you.
16. Never doubt your own vision – you are the leader, you are expected to know all the answers until the proven differently. And remember optimism multiplies if fostered.
17. Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. It’s better to get the right thing done in the right way than letting your team believe that mediocrity is good enough. Keep looking below the surface – even when what is below may not be palatable.
18. Be happy with your team bringing problems and complaints as well as the good news. The day this stops either means they don’t care or have lost confidence in you.
19. Advisors have their place. But at the end of the day it is your judgement that counts. Separate data from judgement and constantly reference your own hard won insight.
20. Pick good followers for now and leaders for tomorrow. Formulate your list of criteria and be choosey who you work with. Make sure each person ticks most if not all of the key boxes. E.g. Intelligence, judgment, insight, loyalty, integrity and a high energy drive.
Foreign-owned firms were responsible for 91% of Ireland's tradeable goods and services exports in 2009. Food and drink exports, which come mainly from the indigenous sector, fell 15% according to the survey carried out by Forfás. The survey covers the client base of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Shannon Development and Údarás na Gaeltachta Export earnings for Irish-owned firms was €11.5bn and the earnings for the foreign sector was €114.4bn. Indigenous exports accounted for 8.7% of the total.
The indigenous food and drink sector saw sales decline by 10.7% in 2009 and exports by 15%. The euro exchange rate with sterling was a contributing factor to this result. Exports in traditional manufacturing also saw a decrease of 15.5% in 2009 over 2008. In contrast, the relatively small sector of modern manufacturing & energy reported a small growth in exports in 2009 of 2% on the previous year.
Export growth among Irish-owned internationally traded services was over 7% during 2009. Exports of information, communication & computer services among Irish-owned firms were strong, with growth of almost 12% between 2008 and 2009 compared with 2.8% for the period 2000-2009. While the business, financial and other services sectors also saw growth in 2009 with 5.6% over 2008 and giving an increase of almost 14% for the period from 2000-2009.
Export growth of 2.6% per annum over the period 2000-2009 for all sectors compares with the 2.3% per annum growth in total sales among indigenous companies.